If you haven’t checked your calendar lately, we have news for you: We are fast approaching peak scary season, the time of year for all things that go bump in the night to come out and play.
If you’re seeking out a scare, though, your luck may vary based on where you live. Put simply, some places are just more (allegedly) haunted than others. A just-released study by SmokyMountains.com, the folks who also have their finger on the pulse of week-by-week fall foliage predictions in the US, has named the most haunted states in the country. To do so, the team evaluated each state based on the number of Spirit Halloween stores it is home to, how many haunted house attractions it has, how highly rated those haunted houses are, and the volume of search results for its most haunted location.
As it turns out, California is the overall winner in terms of the most haunted states. It flaunts a whopping number of 172 Spirit Halloween stores, and there are 128 haunted houses throughout the state. Utah came in second place with a much lower number of Spirit Halloween stores (23) and haunted houses (29), but an average haunted house rating of 4.4/5, and the second-highest daily average search results for its most haunted location, with 1,044,000 average Google searches looking to learn more about Utah’s Union Station. A true wild card, New Hampshire, came in third place. Check out the rest of the top 10 most haunted states, according to the study, below:
In addition to this legwork, SmokyMountains.com also came up with an exhaustive list of the most haunted location in each state. That’s right-the team looked at the top 10–20 knowingly haunted locations per state, and then used Google search data and operators to see which ones are actually the most popular.
With 2,240,000 Google searches, the grand, ultimate winner of them all was California’s Alcatraz. The abandoned prison, which is known for the many infamous individuals who spent time in its cells, is also famously haunted. In fact, there is even a haunted tour visitors can take at night, where you learn all about the ghosts that allegedly haunt its halls.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, second on the list overall is Utah’s Union Station, which flaunts 1,044,000 Google search results on average. Rumor has it that paranormal activity is at really high levels there, and there are even terrifying stories about a woman and her children-three ghosts who, allegedly, haunt the place.
If California and Utah are too far from you, don’t worry-as we said before, there is a very scary spot to be found everywhere. You can see the most haunted place in each state in the graphic below, and you can also consult our Thrillist guide to the scariest place to visit in every state.